The first step to successfully managing a homeowners association (HOA) in Illinois is having a clear understanding of the laws that govern them. Because we understand how challenging it can be to make sense of legal terms, we have broken it down for you to ensure that you have all the information you need to form and run an HOA.

A common interest community association or HOA is a non-government organization that's committed to maintaining property values. It does this by implementing certain rules and regulations to ensure that all homeowners adhere to the standards set out by the community.

In this article, we'll provide an overview of the homeowner association laws you need to know about and provide more information about the general rules and regulations that impact HOAs in Illinois.

Illinois HOA Laws You Need to Know About

Let's first look at some of the state-specific laws that apply to homeowners associations in Illinois.

Illinois Common Interest Association Act

The administration and functioning of HOAs in the state are governed by the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act. In homeowner's associations with detached or attached townhouses, single-family houses, or villas, this provision is applicable.

Community associations must also have a minimum of 11 private properties and an annual total assessment collection of over $100,000 in order to be recognized under this act.

Illinois Condominium Property Act

The Condominium Act controls the creation, administration, and oversight of all condominium associations. If you run a condominium association, you will need to pay special attention to this act.

Illinois General Not-for-profit Corporation Act of 1986

HOAs with 10 or fewer units are governed by the General Not-for-profit Corporation Act of 1986. Additionally, it applies to homeowner's associations whose annual total dues collections are $100,000 or less.

By a majority vote of the board or community members, these associations might choose to adhere to the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act instead. Since condos cannot be incorporated in Illinois as not-for-profit corporations, this legislation isn't applicable to them.

Illinois Human Rights Act

By prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, color, ancestry, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, religion, familial status, military status, and disability, the Illinois Human Rights Act seeks to protect all people from harm.

Illinois Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act

This act promotes alternate methods of dispute resolution for all HOAs covered by the Common Interest Community Association Act as well as those that are regulated by the Condominium Property Act.

Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act

In accordance with this act, HOA managers and community association management firms must be licensed and subject to regulation.

Federal Laws That Regulate Illinois HOAs

In addition to these state laws, there are federal laws that govern common-interest communities in Illinois. This includes the following:

  • Federal Flag Display Law. This law describes the rules and regulations for displaying the American flag. Homeowners associations in Illinois are not allowed to prohibit the showcasing of the flag if it is done in accordance with this law.
  • Fair Housing Act. Like the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act is designed to protect homeowners from discrimination based on factors like race, religion, and color.

Keep in mind that there may be other federal and state laws that might apply to your HOA, so it's important to do further research.

Local Laws and Regulations

In addition to the federal and state laws mentioned above, your HOA may be subject to certain local laws. Counties often implement their own rules and regulations, so you will need to spend time doing research to ensure that you comply with this legislation.

Fines for Non-compliance

In Illinois, a homeowner who disobeys an HOA's bylaws may be fined. The association must notify the resident and give him or her a chance to be heard before imposing any penalty. It's important to note that the HOA's governing documents specify the precise charge types and amounts. However, it's you will need to remember that the law prevents HOAs in Illinois from prohibiting the use of the following:

  • Installing antennas and satellite dishes
  • Putting up the national flag or a military flag as long as it's done so in accordance with federal flag display regulations
  • Setting up a solar energy system
  • Installing a flagpole to showcase the abovementioned flags
  • Affixing items of faith to the apartment's front door and other religious practices

HOAs may include rules and regulations in their community documents detailing the manner in which these items may be displayed.

Foreclosure Due to Non-payment of Dues

Condominium associations in Illinois have the authority to foreclose on a member's home to secure unpaid dues. When a homeowner doesn't pay their fees, community associations have the authority to impose a lien on the property. The HOA may foreclose on the home if a lien is not paid off.

The association records will contain information on all other authorities related to foreclosure.

About DoorLoop's HOA Software

The truth is that HOAs have a myriad of responsibilities. This includes maintaining financial records, preparing annual budgets, tracking maintenance and repair operations, and so much more.

If you are the manager, executive, or board member of a homeowners association in Illinois, you have probably already realized how time-consuming these tasks can be.

The good news is that we live in the 21st century, where you can get software to help you with just about anything, and HOA management is no different. However, not all software is created equal, and some are exorbitantly priced, which makes them impractical.

DoorLoop was designed to meet all your needs without breaking the bank. With all the features you could ever need, excellent customer support, and a platform that's easy to navigate and use, you can rest assured that you are making a wise investment.

Our HOA software can help with your accounting, management of maintenance requests, communication, storage, and so much more.

To learn more or get your free demo, get in touch with us today and experience DoorLoop firsthand!

Closing Remarks

The importance of understanding the applicable legislation cannot be stressed enough. The truth is that homeowners can file a private lawsuit against HOAs for non-compliance, so it's important that you spend the necessary time reviewing the relevant laws, rules, and regulations.

If you need help maintaining an organized workflow, give DoorLoop a try! You won't regret it. Our property management software offers a plethora of tools and features that can prove valuable for streamlining your business operations and ensuring that your HOA is not penalized due to non-compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any state laws that protect homeowners with a physical or mental disability?

Yes. The Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Fair Housing Act are designed to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination.

2. Can a common interest community association enter a member's private property?

No regulation in Illinois permits an association to enter a member's private property. However, the majority of governing documents include a clause permitting the HOA to gain access to a homeowner's property if it is deemed reasonable to do so for maintenance purposes.

It's important that the community association provide sufficient advanced notice before accessing the premises. One to two weeks' notice is generally considered sufficient unless in the case of an emergency. 

3. Can HOAs in Illinois evict homeowners and tenants?

If a homeowner fails to pay dues, assessments, and other HOA-imposed fees, a homeowners association has the right to evict him or her. In addition, homeowner's associations have the same rights to evict tenants that a property owner has.

Before filing a case for eviction against either the tenant or a property owner, the association will need to provide sufficient notice and give the owner a chance to settle their dues.

4. How do homeowners join or leave an HOA in Illinois?

There are no Illinois HOA laws that specify whether a homeowner is obligated to join or leave an HOA. As a result, there are two types of community associations in the state: voluntary and mandatory HOAs.

If you move to a neighborhood regulated by a voluntary HOA, you will be required to join the association and may only leave by selling your home or petitioning to have it removed from the HOA's jurisdiction. However, if the area has a voluntary HOA, you can join or leave at will.

5. Can Illinois HOAs collect special assessments?

Yes, homeowners associations may request special assessments to cover the cost of unexpected or one-time expenses, such as repairing the damaged roof of a clubhouse.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!